QUESTIONS ABOUT DESIGN AND PROVISION
Q: Why do we need to do this project?
A: There are several reasons, which when they are all looked at together have led the leadership of Christ Church to believe that it is right to embark on this project. First, we want our buildings to inspire people for worship and mission. Second, we want our buildings to be accessible and attractive to the local community. Third, we want to create space for future growth and new ministries. Fourth, we know that much of our current fabric is tired or worn out.
Q: What will the each phase of the project provide?
A: Phase one will focus on the east end of the church. It will increase the size of the worship area and will improve its flexibility by removing the existing offices and raised dais. The installation of new heating, lighting, flooring and chairs will provide a welcoming and inspiring space. Seating capacity will have the potential to be increased and there will be the option of different layouts for different events. Opening up the east end of the church, and renovating the side rooms with first floor meeting rooms will provide much needed additional space. Lowering the floors in the South East and North East rooms will provide level access throughout the ground floor. A full immersion baptism pool will allow regular adult baptisms. An upgrade to the audio visual system and renovation of the organ will enhance our meetings. Finally, work on the West and South porches will provide welcome improvements in terms of visibility and accessibility.
Phase two will focus on the west end of the church and will include a renewal of the current meeting rooms on the ground floor. The kitchen will be upgraded and enlarged and the toilets will be relocated and improved. New large and small rooms will be created at first floor level with lift access and full facilities. The access to the church will be improved with better surfacing and external lighting.
Q: How can we justify spending money on a building when we could spend it on people?
A: The simple answer is that we will be spending money on the building so that we can be more effective in blessing people. We know that our building could be more accessible, welcoming, inspiring, flexible and so on. More than this, we believe that when we create more attractive and inspiring space existing ministries will be stronger and new ministries will spring up. Of course, there is much more to flourishing ministries than attractive building - but we know that at the moment our building is constraining ministry rather than enabling it.
Q: Why are we giving 10% of the money away?
A: We know that we are called to be a church that is reaching out with the good news of Jesus Christ. Giving away a percentage of the money that we raise will enable us to make significant commitment to kingdom work outside Christ Church, whether locally or further afield.
QUESTIONS ABOUT TIMING AND PROCESS
Q: How soon can we start building?
A: There are several stages that we will need to work through before building can begin. The architect will need to draw up final plans and these will need to be approved by the relevant planning bodies. Once approval has been granted, we will then need to put these out to tender and select the right building contractor.
It also depends on how long it takes to raise the money. We will need to have raised enough money to pay the architect’s fees before design work begins and we will need to have the full amount raised or pledged before the building work begins.
Q: What will happen while the building is taking place?
A: It is likely that we will need to move out of most of the building while phase one is taking place. We will have a number of options to consider at that point depending on the timescale. There are other local buildings that we could borrow or hire, such as schools or churches. There are also other places where we could meet, if we met in smaller groups. Other churches have found similar experiences to be positive times of change and growth.
Q: Why are we phasing the project?
A: There are several reasons for this. Phasing the project will mean that we can start building sooner, without having to wait to raise the full amount of money for the whole project. It will also mean that we can continue to use parts of the building while subsequent phases are being built.
QUESTIONS ABOUT FINANCES AND FUNDRAISING
Q: How will the money be raised? Will grants be available?
A: Similar projects suggest that the majority of the money will come from congregational giving. We expect that this will come from a combination of gifts, pledges and legacies. Fundraising events and ideas will play a part, but generous giving will be the most important starting point. Grants may be available and we are looking for people who are ready to research these and make applications.
Q: Can I make my gift to Christ Church Renewed tax efficient by using Gift Aid?
A: Yes you can, provided you pay UK Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax and complete a Gift Aid declaration in respect of donations to the Christ Church PCC. If you have already done this, there is no need to make a further declaration for donations to Christ Church Renewed.
Q: What are the advantages of giving to Christ Church Renewed under Gift Aid?
A: It is always beneficial to make a donation under Gift Aid but the advantages vary according to your individual tax position.
If you are a Basic Rate taxpayer and make of a donation of £1,000 under Gift Aid, the Christ Church PCC will be able to claim tax of £250 from the government and thus increase the value of your donation to £1,250. This will not affect your personal tax liability.
Q: What if I pay tax at a higher rate?
If you pay Income Tax at the Higher Rate of 40% and make of a donation of £1,000 under Gift Aid, the Christ Church PCC will be able to claim tax of £250 from the government and thus increase the value of your donation to £1,250.
The donation will also decrease your personal tax liability as you can claim back Income Tax of £250 (£1250 x 20%), reducing the net cost to you of your £1,000 donation to £750.
If you pay Income Tax at the Higher Rate of 45% and make of a donation of £1,000 under Gift Aid, the Christ Church PCC will be able to claim tax of £250 from the government and thus increase the value of your donation to £1,250.
The donation will also decrease your personal tax liability as you can claim back Income Tax of £312.50 (£1250 x 25%), reducing the net cost to you of your £1,000 donation to £687.50.
Full details of the Gift Aid scheme can be found on the HMRC website.
Q: How can I give via a legacy?
A: The first thing to do is to make sure that you have a properly witnessed, up to date will. Research has shown that over half of the UK adult population has not written a will. Without a will it is possible that your assets will not be distributed as you would want them to be.
Within your will you can make specific gifts or legacies. These can be the gift of a specific sum of money, or a proportion of your estate. Gifts made to the church and other charities are exempt from inheritance tax, and are deducted from your estate before inheritance tax liability is calculated.
A legacy is a practical way of saying ‘thank you’ to God for all the blessings we have enjoyed during our lives. It enables us to make a lasting contribution to our church family, as we have been blessed by the giving of previous generations.
Q: What sort of fundraising events might we do?
A: Watch this space! There will be a variety of events, some for the whole church to take part in and others that will be set up by individual members and may appeal to particular groups. If you have ideas for fundraising events, do get in touch with Ali Wadia.